When I had my twin daughters, my struggle with body image became more of a pressing matter. I didn’t want to pass on my body image issues, the self-consciousness and self-criticism, the negative self-talk. I began a journey with God that I’m still on, every single day.
The very first step was this verse:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
As I’ve mentioned before, there is a wide spectrum of body image issues. I absolutely believe in medical and psychological support needed for eating disorders, body dysmorphia, self-harm and the like. But this series is for the rest of us, for most of us. For the large majority of women who just aren’t all that happy with how they look. Who think it’s normal and fine to wish their hair were different, their skin, their butt. To live life daily wishing they looked the way they used to, or that they looked like someone else altogether. But usually just shrug our shoulders and move on with a life of discontent.
Our culture tells us a half truth. The world around us says that we need not live with this daily dissatisfaction. That part’s true.
But then the lie begins. If we are unhappy with our appearance, we can, and should, fix it. We should use products to “improve” our appearance, to “hide our flaws.” We should workout and follow stringent nutrition plans to get 6 pack abs, long lean thighs, beach-ready bodies.
This is where God’s truth comes in, and the first step toward truly loving our reflections.
We need to transform our minds in order to transform our body image. We need to stop conforming to the patterns of thinking in this world, and we need to think in new and different ways. We need to identify and call out the lies and instead learn and memorize the truth.
The rest of this series I will be identifying lies and combating them with God’s truth. I will be sharing the lies I tell myself, the lies the world tells us, the lies you struggle with (please, share them with me!), and together, we’ll be learning and meditating on the complete, eternal, objective truth of who we are, how God sees us, and how we should see ourselves.
We need to renew our minds, this is the only way to transform our body image.
But let me be clear. While I hope we all finish this month with a sense of freedom and a greater lightness and happiness within ourselves, more than that, I want to reclaim what we’ve lost in all this self-criticism. I want to reclaim the energy I’ve spent on my appearance and instead apply it to the powerful purpose that has been placed on my life. I want to reclaim the time and money wasted on solving a non-existant problem of “not being skinny/hot/pretty/tan/young/whatever enough.” I want to serve God with confidence and boldness and not be held back by the worries of embarrassment about my looks.
I want to walk the rest of my days loving my reflection just as He intended.
The first and biggest step is admitting a need to renew our minds. Will you join me in this transformation?
CHALLENGE: Pray that God will help you to identify ways that the world has impacted your body image. Pray that He will begin to work on your heart and mind, renew your thoughts and beliefs, so that you will be transformed. Pray that he will completely change your body image and that He will make His will crystal clear to you, especially in regard to how you are to view yourself and your looks.